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Royal Rescue

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At age eighteen, when they become marriageable, all royal children in the Thousand Kingdoms must either go questing to rescue another royal or be hidden away to await rescue themselves. Some go the traditional route of princes rescuing princesses, but not all princes want to be rescuers…and some would rather rescue other princes.

Then there’s Prince Gerald, who has no interest in getting married at all. When he refuses to choose a role as either rescuer or rescuee, his royal parents choose for him and have him magicked away to a distant tower to await a spouse.

Gerald, however, is having none of it. He recruits his guardian dragon and a would-be rescuer and soon the trio is dashing to all corners of the united kingdoms on a quest to overturn the entire system.

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First published April 8, 2019

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A. Alex Logan

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 52 reviews
Profile Image for Anniek.
1,653 reviews617 followers
May 17, 2020
I was sent an eARC of this book through Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

This book was recommended to me because of the asexual main character. And that's really what I loved most about it, because the entire plot is woven around his asexuality in a way that was so fun and great to read. I loved seeing a character who knows himself so well that he's willing to go to any lengths to change a system that doesn't work for him.

However, the plot did drag a little in the middle, and the story progressed at quite a slow pace. I would have liked to see a bit more detail when it comes to the actual actions in the book. We get detailed world building and character development, and really fun interactions between the characters, but it's not always as fleshed out what actually happens to them.

While most of the characters are great, and it was so fun to see their banter and the way they interacted with each other, I would have liked to see the family relationships go through a little more development as well. I did love reading about a QPR (queer platonic relationship) though, as I think this was the first time I actually saw this in a book, and I thought it was done really well!

All in all, this was a really fun read, and I would especially recommend it if you're a fan of Eragon, as this is reminiscent of a queer equivalent of it.

Rep: aromantic asexual main character, QPR, several LGBTQ+ characters.

CWs: aphobia, parental abuse, violence, descriptions of wounds.
Profile Image for Sakina (aforestofbooks).
371 reviews120 followers
March 8, 2021
I can’t even begin to describe how much this book means to me. Everything that Gerald went through, every single thought and feeling, I’ve felt exactly. His circumstances were almost identical to mine. This book made me cry, it made me angry and hurt, it made me put words to my own thoughts. The bad moods and hopelessness and mistrust are just so relatable. This book is triggering in so many ways, but I’m so glad I decided to end off 2020 with it. It’s perfect despite how much it hurts and now I need to get my hands on a physical copy 😭

*a more coherent review that isn't from 12:15am on January 1st*

I found this book so easy to read. Despite the somewhat long chapters, I felt like I was flying through the prose and dialogue. Nothing felt disjointed, the writing flowed very well, and it was super easy to get into the world, and understand how it works.

I like how this book is more character-driven then plot. I found the idea of the Thousand Kingdoms very interesting, and I would have loved to see more about how they keep the peace between each other. The idea that marriages are how it's done just doesn't seem feasible, especially with how large this world is. The politics would have been very interesting and I'm very curious about the Council.

Because this book is more character-driven, I actually really enjoyed seeing the everyday aspects of Gerald's life. It gave me old-school fantasy vibes and honestly really gets me into the character's head when I can see them describing the details of their day, even if it's just them planning or eating. And what I really loved was all the bathing lol How many YA fantasies do we read every year and the characters bathe maybe once? It is possible to stay clean while on a long epic journey, and maybe Gerald isn't exactly in a high-stakes, intense situation where he is on the run or being attacked, but I liked those moments and I think it also gave us a chance to explore Gerald's thoughts and feelings more.

Dragon purring and being described as a large cat made me so happy my cheeks hurt from smiling. And Omar also being described as having cat-like behaviours when he brushed the snow off his boots...It was very well done, especially considering how Gerald remembers all the cats that find their way to his bed every night when he was living at home. I liked the comparison. His palace cats never cared about who he bedded or didn't bed, or what he was up to or liked/didn't like. They liked him for who he was, and accepted him, and took care of him, and it was wonderful to see that reflected in Gerald's friendship with Dragon and Omar.

The running joke that human's are not designed that well was hilarious. I love Dragon so much and I even loved the moments when Omar called it out on making Gerald seem like he wasn't human. That's the kind of friendship I like to see.

The conversations in this book made me go sdfjsldkf. Every single line, thought, emotion that Gerald was feeling I have felt too. Some of his conversations with Omar reminded me of conversations I've had with friends. I loved how this book explained everything so clearly and easily, and how it put words to the thoughts that I've had in my head forever and just never put to paper. I also really enjoyed how there isn't just one big conversation, but it's split up and brought up a few times. I love when Omar sits him down and asks him what he wants/is comfortable with in a relationship. And I also appreciated Gerald's uncertainty and mistrustfulness.

Everything that Gerald goes through in the second half of the book–his pain, and misery, and moodiness, felt so relatable. And even when he decides to give him and Omar a chance, that fear and worry that maybe this isn't what he wants, but he also doesn't know what he wants, and how confusing this all is...it's just so damn relatable. Being confused and how that's okay was normalized in this book and I love that so much. And the fear that Omar could find someone else or change his mind about what he wants, and also Gerald wishing things could go back to before when they were just friends and nothing was ever brought up sdkfjksd

There is so much I could say and I just don't have the words to explain it.

Gerald's family really did annoy me a lot and gave me a lot of flashbacks. Lila especially was so frustrating, I wanted to strangle her so many times. And Gerald's parents...This book was triggering for me, but especially this and how close it feels to my own personal experiences. I love how at the end Dragon and Omar are by his side, ready to help him if he needs it when confronting his mothers. The whole idea of Gerald saving himself made me emotional, but what made me want to cry was seeing the support he had at the end. The ability to know he can be true to himself and speak out for what he believes and feels, and knowing that if things don't go according to plan, he's not alone and doesn't have to suffer, but has friends to help him get out of any situation.

Gerald grows so much throughout this book. From coming to terms with himself, to trusting others and asking for help. He struggles with his disability (which I'm also really glad wasn't completely healed by magic in a couple chapters), and he struggles with his thoughts. He's miserable and in pain and confused and being in a similar situation as that just really hit me hard last night.

All I can say is, this book is perfect. I cannot recommend it enough, especially to my friends who feel this way and are looking for some fantasy rep, because it's tiring only seeing it in contemporary. 5/5 stars, and I will definitely be getting my hands on a copy.
Profile Image for Maja  - BibliophiliaDK ✨.
1,055 reviews597 followers
April 2, 2019
ORIGINAL IDEA THAT, SADLY, FELL FLAT

When started reading this book I was full of hope. Sadly, they were dashed before long.

In The Thousand Kingdoms it's a tradition for the young royals to find their spouse when they turn 18 in the traditional quest, where some royals take the part of rescuers and the rest the part of rescuees. Gerald, however, doesn't want to participate. He doesn't want to get married. His mothers, however, are not sympathetic to his refusal and force him into the role of rescuee and lock him away in a tower to await rescue. Gerald, however, is not content to just sit and wait. Especially not when he sees the state of his guardian, a dragon. Determined to safe himself as well as the dragon, Gerald escapes the tower and starts a revolution to change the marriage laws of the Thousand Kingdoms.

THE GOOD STUFF

Asexuality: Asexuality is not something I have the most experience with. Therefore I found it very intriguing that the main character was asexual. I always enjoy books that show me and teach me things that I don't really know. Also, I have never come across another book with an asexual character, so I felt like that was something very original.

"If some people like men and some like women and some like everyone, well, why wouldn’t some people not like anyone?"


The dragon: Out of all the characters in this book, the dragon was my absolute favourite. He had this dry humor that gave me a good chuckle more than once, and I loved how protective he was of Gerald.

"Humans," the dragon muttered again, "I really don't understand how you were designed so poorly."


THE BAD STUFF

The pace: This book was simply too slow and too long. It never really got going and nothing much actually happened. There was no action and no climax, and no matter what kind of book you're reading, there needs to be something happening. But because this was a fantasy novel, I was defintely especting there to be some kind of action, but there simply wasn't.

Plot hole: In the beginning of the book we learn that Gerald, while he is locked in the tower, can communicae with all the other question royals by sending them magical letters. Later, the gang comes up with a plan to round up all the royals by kidnapping them. But I couldn't help wondering - why didn't they use the magical letters to write all the royals and invite them to come on their own volition? Then they only had to round up the ones that didn't comply...

Repetitive: This, I think, ties in a bit with the problem I had with the pace. I think the pace partly felt so slow because it felt as if I was reading the same scene over and over again. It felt as if nothing was really happening because the same thing kept happening over and over.

Gerald: I SOOOO wanted to like Gerald. I wanted to sympathize with him and his quest to find and accept himself. But really, he was just so whiny. 95% of the time he whines. That's not a likeable character. That is a character that you just want to escape. Really, his only redeeming feature was his love of animals.

This book was provided by the author via IndiGo Marketing & Design in exchange for an honest review.

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31 reviews3 followers
June 4, 2020
Trigger warning: suicidal tendencies, further trigger below

I went into this book hoping it would be a 3 star, maybe 4 star read. It ended up getting 1.5 stars out of 5 from me.

"Royal Rescue" is about Gerald, a prince who doesn't want to marry because he's asexual and aromantic. His two mothers want him to marry though, because it's tradition and important for the Kingdoms' well-being. The system in the Kingdoms is that every royal is grouped at the age of eighteen into rescuees or rescuers. The rescuees sit in towers, guarded my magical creatures like dragons, unicorns, etc. while the rescuers journey across the Kingdoms and go to different towers to "check out" rescuees. If a rescuer and rescuee like each other (they can correspond through magical letters) the rescuee can give permission to a rescuer to battle the guardian and save them from their tower. Gerald's mother sends him to a tower without his consent, since he doesn't want to take part in the rescuing at all. Once there, Gerald sees how badly the guardians are treated, basically ensalved and abused. He decides to not only rescue himself, but also all the guardians.

This is an awesome concept. Some rebellion, some magical creature - dragons! - friendship, good queer representation, a fun plot etc. And yet... it falls short. Why?

There's basically no positive female representation. Nedi and Calin both have a strong mind and Calin is caring, but Gerald's attitude is negative toward them and Gerald feels that Calin smothers him and he's not thankful to her help. Queen Mixte is soft and nice, but doesn't argue with her borderline abusive wife when she bullies Gerald to do as she wishes and just tells Gerald to give his mother more time, rather than take his side. There is some non-binary representation, but it's not prominent.

Everything revolves around Gerald. I interpret him as highly anxious and maybe depressed, but he's also self-absorbed. He has little regard to his fellow characters. And okay, these kind of people exists. The thing is, the other characters exists to revolve around Gerald. They had no goals or needs of their own. Omar, who is otherwise a lovely character, bends to Gerald's every whim without ever really presenting any needs or goals of his own. Whatever Gerald says, goes, and conveniently Omar exists to understand and accommodate him on every thing. He's the perfect partner, to the point that he's almost like he was born for Gerald. Which isn't exactly exciting.

Expanding on the topic above, especially the characters' dialogue is a little too text book-ish. It's as if the book wishes to educate through fiction. I'm not really onboard with the approach.

What really did it for me though: the book is inherently incredibly ableist. And not just a little, but next level. It's not acknowledged really, that's just how everyone in the story is. Gerald gets hurt during the journey, which more or less leads to him becoming disabled. It's completely disregarded that people who are born disabled exist. Gerald's "solution" to the royal rescuing is not disabled-friendly in the least. I didn't go into this book expecting disability representation, but I got it, and I wish I hadn't, because maybe I would've rated this book higher then. All I could think about was "what if I was one of those royals?" I would've been so pissed with Gerald's complete lack of regard for other disabled people, especially as he was one himself, no matter how much he hated it. I'd also point out that Gerald's "soultion" worked out for him especially only because of random chance. If he hadn't met Omar, he would've still been stuck in a system forcing him to marry. Gerald got out of it, but any ace-aros after him would probably just forever cycle through the new system, never getting rid of the pressure to marry.

This is a fairy-tale-like story, that isn't quite it. I loved the idea. I loved the dragon. The plot, in itself, was a fun journey. But there simply were too many things that rubbed me the wrong way, even though I really wanted to like this book.
Profile Image for Lori S..
988 reviews41 followers
April 6, 2022
Great fun read!

Gerald does not want to marry, nor bed (have sex with), anyone. His proclamation is met with the usual incomprehension, disbelief, and, in the case of his parents, general derision. He's told to grow up and accept his responsibilities to get married and have children. When he refuses to participate in the traditional marriage game, taken straight out of fairy tale*, he's drugged and magicked into a tower in the middle of the desert to await his rescurer.

Gerald won't accept his fate though, and after discovering that his guardian, a dragon enslaved by the Council of Mages, is not only sentient but sympathetic, decides to escape. With the help of his cousin, Erick, Gerald works out a way to destroy the dragon's slave collar and, together, they escape. Along the way he and the dragon find an ill young man named Omar. Once Omar's better, he's delighted to help Gerald and his cousin start scheming to overturn the system, free all of the guardians from their bondage, and to give young royals from every where a chance to truly shine and get to know each other.

There is a lot of angst on Gerald's part as his frustration over what others seem to expect everyone to want - sex, marriage, romance, etc. - isn't what he wants and cannot seem to get anyone to understand. He would very much like to go his own way, forge his own path, and find acceptance for who and what he is at the end. It's a hard fought battle in the end, but one which is well worth the effort.

*Think Rapunzel/Sleeping Beauty.
Profile Image for Saimon (ZanyAnomaly).
405 reviews218 followers
January 3, 2022
Royal Rescue was an amazing, funny story to read.
A prince is forced into the kingdom's patriarchal arranged marriage tradition of playing rescuer/rescuee to find the Right Match™ and he is asexual and does not care for any of this, so he teams up with the dragon whos supposed to guard him and his would-be rescuer and decides to cause chaos in the system till his parents (and the entire kingdom) listens to him.

I absolutely loved that the story focused on friendships and gave us queer platonic relationships rep. more QPR dynamics in stories please!!!!

This was a 4.5 star read for me, I'm rounding up to 5. PLEASE READ THIS, its very underrated!
Profile Image for Tessa.
137 reviews10 followers
May 6, 2020
This was the perfect book for me for right now. Fantasy/Fairytale-esque settings, dragons, not TOO serious but still substance to the story.
Plus, an introverted (aro)ace main character with anxiety issues? Gee, wonder who could relate to such a character :P
Profile Image for iam.
951 reviews126 followers
July 15, 2020
"I don't want to be married!" he shouted at the wall. "I don't want to fall in love! I don't want to sleep with anyone! Why is that such a problem for everyone?!"
This was very charming!

Read this review and more on the blog.!

Content warnings include: aphobia (both internalized and from outside), suicidal ideation, (magical) animal abuse, character gets drugged and enchanted against their will, character becomes physically disabled after suffering a serious injury.

Royal Rescue is the lovely story of a bunch of teens and a dragon overthrowing a nonsensical tradition of royal rescuers and rescuees. It's also the story of an aromantic and asexual teen struggling with both the external prejudice he faces because of his identity as well as the internal consequences.

I absolutely adored finally getting my hands on a YA fantasy book with an aro ace protagonist at the center! It definitely would have helped me as a teen.
The protagonist Gerald's asexuality is definitely one of if not the main focus of the book. It's not a story about discovering your own identity - Gerald is very sure of that - but rather of dealing with other peoples' reaction to it and finding (self-) acceptance. As such, there are so many important conversations about asexuality and being aromantic, both really basic ones and more individual ones. Gerald is also sex-repulsed (and probably touch-averse to a certain degree) and does not want a romantic relationship. Being aro ace myself I was able to relate to him a lot, down to him not always being able to put his feelings into words.

As part of these conversations there is also a lot of aphobia. Most other people in the book (and honestly, real life) can't wrap their head around not feeling attraction, and they don't listen to or don't believe Gerald when he talks about his experiences - aro and/or ace readers should be aware that this book contains basically every possible (negative/ignorant) reaction to coming out as ace/aro.

Gerald also deals with a lot of internalized aphobia, both in combination from what he is told by other people and from his other struggles with not feeling like he's fitting in and being uncomfortable in crowds. This is intensified by other events happening in the middle of the book that made these feelings even worse.

I also really liked that Gerald was frequently worried and anxious. He is not a brave and daring hero but often unsure and doesn't know how to proceeded or if his actions are right. Combined with his struggles about his identity and self acceptance that made for a rather bleak reading experience at times, and it dragged a little in between, but I didn't mind too much. Overall it's definitely not an unhappy book - there is a quite present humor and a few running jokes.

I shortly want to address the book's blurb: I found it to be a bit misleading. I didn't immediately realize it would have not just an aro ace protagonist and feature his identity as such a core part of the plot, but I also expected the book to be rather homophobic/queerphobic. It isn't, and that's very obvious from the start - Gerald has two mothers, and non-binary peoples' existence is acknowledged very early too (though there was one or two instances of very cis-normative language.)
On both counts this ended up being a very positive surprise for me.

Another thing I liked was the use of magic. The two-way "chatroom" scroll and the interactive maps were super cool and very innovative!

I also liked the big cast of side characters - I wish they had played bigger roles and appeared more often, especially non-antagonistic female characters. There were also several non-binary characters and a variety of POC characters.
Also, dragons!!!!

Overall I enjoyed Royal Rescue a lot. It's not perfect, but a wonderfully charming debut with a combination of genre tropes, plot and characters that I adored!

I received an ARC and reviewed honestly & voluntarily.
Profile Image for Devann.
2,431 reviews128 followers
April 9, 2019
I received an ARC copy of this book from NetGalley.

“As I’ve told you,” Gerald said, “I’ve never felt that way. I’ve never even felt a hint of it. [...] And I don’t want to have to justify myself for the rest of my life. You don’t believe me; you’ve never believed me. You’ve always said to wait until I’m older. Well, how old do I have to be before you’ll agree I simply don’t have those feelings?”

I really enjoyed this! As an aro/ace person myself I definitely related to a lot of what Gerald was feeling and I think that the author portrayed asexuality well. Also although the words asexual and aromantic were obviously not used since this is a fantasy setting, I'm going to go ahead and assume that Gerald is aromantic as well as asexual since he described his relationship at the end as platonic and said specifically that he wasn't 'in love'. It's so hard to even find asexual protagonists in fiction, but aro/ace is practically unheard of, so it always makes me really happy to find a good book featuring an aro/ace character.

The set-up of the book kind of reminded me of Princeless with all the royals locked up in towers and Gerald escaping with his dragon and all, but the focus here is a bit different since this is a world with generally more relaxed gender roles where bisexuality/homosexuality is viewed in a positive light but where our asexual protagonist is constantly told he is just 'going through a phase'. I think that many of the characters' reactions to Gerald's sexuality line up accurately with real-world views because although there is obviously more asexual rep today than ever before, there are still a lot of people even in the lgbtq community who won't accept it.

The plot definitely moved fast - maybe a bit too fast at times - and if I was going to nit-pick I would say there maybe wasn't enough conflict towards the end, but I think that is to be expected when you are trying to sort out such a big concept in one novel. Overall I thought it was a really fun book that combined fantasy politics, daring rescues, and discussion of asexuality in a pretty well balanced way. I would definitely recommend it for fantasy lovers who are looking for a light read that involves asexual characters.
Profile Image for Mike.
Author 45 books154 followers
April 6, 2019
I try to read a few books each year with protagonists whose experience of life is very different from mine as a middle-aged straight white man. This one has an asexual protagonist, which is an experience of life I knew very little about going in. I enjoyed it as a well-written story, and also for what it taught me.

Prince Gerald, the protagonist, is certainly neurotic, in the technical sense of experiencing a lot of negative emotion. That seems like an understandable consequence of having hardly anyone (not even your pretty decent cousin) believe you when you say you don't have any desire for a romantic or sexual relationship, and never will, and being caught up in a system where there's just no place for you.

In Prince Gerald's world, there's peace between nations, and part of the reason is that the old prince-rescues-princess-from-a-tower thing has become institutionalized. It's evolved in some ways; princesses can rescue princes, or rescue other princesses, or princes can rescue other princes, and there are also princexes (nonbinary royals), and nobody turns a hair at any of this. Gerald's parents are both women. But what the system does not allow for is someone who doesn't want to rescue, or be rescued by (and therefore marry) anyone at all; and it's abusive to the tower guardians, to boot, magical or semi-magical creatures who are coerced into their roles and harmed in various ways by the whole process.

Gerald wants to change the system, and with the help of a very supportive and open-minded desert prince; his cousin Erick, who's good with magic; and Erick's rescuee, a take-charge princess from a country where women aren't allowed to be in charge - not to mention the freed dragon who was his tower guardian - he sets out to do so.

It's hard to write a protagonist-changes-abusive-system novel. The whole thing about systems is that they're hard to change, a lot of people don't want them to change for various reasons, and it's not straightforward to find a satisfactory replacement. I did feel that the resolution in this book came a bit more easily than would be likely in real life, and that everyone was more reasonable and open to change than real people tend to be, but as I say, this theme is hard, and it was a pretty good job all told. The copy editing is excellent, especially for a book received from Netgalley in a pre-publication state, and I suspect this should be put down to the author knowing their craft and tools. There was a good depiction of disability, as well.

One thing I did notice was that the female characters right across the board were inclined to arrange other people's lives for them "for their own good" without a lot of consultation, whereas the male characters were a lot more open and accepting and much better listeners. I'm not going to speculate about what in the author's life experience might have led to these differences; I just note them. Also, there was a pronounced absence of personal servants throughout, though the whole point of the rescue system was to make the royals self-reliant, which might explain that.

Despite those couple of minor quibbles, this easily joins my best-of list for 2019. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing a copy for review.
Profile Image for Minerva.
Author 11 books83 followers
June 15, 2021
This book was recommended to me by a good friend and it's easy to see why: there is a kind, wise dragon, an aro ace main character, and a fun, lighthearted fantasy plot. It ticks all my boxes! Additionally, this book was very easy to read, even on tired days with low focus, which is also definitely a plus. Still, I found myself a little less intrigued by what would happen about three quarters into the book. I think this was partly due to the main character's pessimistic world view. It was understandable, considering everything he'd gone through and the way his family had never even tried to listen to him. But still, it stood in sharp contrast with the "light tone and fun adventure" concept, and made me look forward a little less to reading more.
1,850 reviews3 followers
April 7, 2019
A Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Review

Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

For the full review, visit https://wp.me/p220KL-gqi on 4/8

From that review:Well, I just love this story!  New author and new fantasy story all in one.  Love it when that happens.  Especially when the author manages to take several standard fantasy elements and give them their own take.  Here Logan uses the familiar knight quest/damsel in distress/rescue as a major element, along with the dragon that guards the tower.  And promptly turns all said elements on their narrative heads to my total entertainment and joy.

For all our reviews,check out http://scatteredthoughtsandroguewords...
October 5, 2021
It's a fantasy story of what happens if you piss off an AroAce person and don't trust them to know their own mind.

It's a fantasy story of dismantling amatonormativity.

It's also the first book I've ever read with a QPR, where characters discuss how this relationship would work for them, what theu want out of it, what are their boundaries.

My AroAce heart is very happy right now.
Profile Image for Qin.
526 reviews28 followers
April 18, 2019
If I shall not dare to presume that Mr(s?) Logan had fun penning down this excruciatingly long-winded attempt at marrying crack fanfiction and high fantasy, I did not derive much entertainment from it, nor did its sheer inventiveness often make me have the intented blast. Other reviewers have selected for blame the enormous tangle of hot-button societal themes this writer embraces only to twist them on their heads, from subverted gender polarities down to creative uses of disabilities; I must state as plainly as possible that this militancy comes at too high a price - the noble causes which are being served here have been allowed to prevail over the quality of execution, as all those elements overshadow the piss-poor quality of the world- and character-building. Taking a page from the stalest novels by Marion Zimmer Bradley and Ann Rice instead for seeking guidance in the immersive, invented universes of G.R.R. Martin or Tanith Lee, Mr(s?) Logan implants her sorely fake and not even one-dimentional heroes and beasts, whose flat, dry-as-bones names expose the blatant cheesiness, into a world of magics and paperworks the specifics, what I would call the couleur locale, of which are no more exposed than the main cast is described. The result is a strange, unappealing kaleidoscope of arbitrary situations bridged by actions merely meant to take the story from point A to point B. As a sample of the flat, boring narrative which the brisk and muscular English gallantly struggles to enliven, let me quote in full the way Dragon enters the story:

"While he was trying to convince himself it was heat haze making it look like the boulders had shifted, they suddenly reared up—and up—and up—and he finally realized they weren’t boulders at all.

They weren’t even a they.

It was a dragon.

And it had decided to stand up.

Gerald stumbled back from the window just in time for the dragon’s head to take his place.

“Good dragon,” he said nervously. “Nice dragon.”

The dragon snorted and Gerald jumped back, half expecting flames to come shooting out its nostrils with the air it had exhaled. But there were none, and he felt silly for reacting like he did. It’s supposed to guard me, not hurt me!

He took a cautious step toward it and the dragon pulled its head away. With its bulk no longer blocking the light, Gerald could actually get a good look at it.

Its skin was pebbled and rough looking, mottled in dozens of shades of tan, beige, and rust. It seemed to be made of sand. It was the desert come alive, the desert personified.

And it looked…curious. It was studying Gerald with the same care with which Gerald was studying it."
24 reviews9 followers
June 23, 2020
I have three words for you: I loved it!

I am aromantic and asexual and this was the first time ever that I feel seen about what it means. About people not understanding that I can't fall in love and about younger me thinking that I was broken.

Also, I love stories with dragons, so that was definitively nice.
Profile Image for Minna.
139 reviews5 followers
April 11, 2020
A fairytale-influenced fantasy story about forging the life that works for you - even if it's not something anyone else is doing.

I have to admit, I came for the aro/ace protagonist, and actually the entire setup of the novel is there to force him to struggle with that identity. In the Thousand Kingdoms, once the children of royalty come of age, they choose to either go out and rescue other royals, or be placed somewhere to be rescued. Gerald has never had a crush, and doesn't want to marry; his mothers force him into the position of rescuee anyway. Then he meets his guardian, a dragon, and kinship turns into escaping together.

Gerald tackles the injustices inherent in the Royal Rescue system - both to the guardians (magical sentient creatures bound to defend rescuees against their will and often to their harm) and to the royals who could be better served by a different system. He also meets the first person who really listens to him and understands, especially about the aro/ace stuff. And on top of that he helps orchestrate a mass rescue and a new way to get royal couples to meet, parleys with the authority who organizes the Rescue system, and gets badly injured and has to deal with recovery and brain weasels about that.

I could see how the ongoing brain weasels/angst and Gerald going round in circles in his head might not work for everyone, but I don't mind a healthy dose of that. His asexuality is intertwined with his anxiety, his difficulties connecting with and trusting people, aversion to physical touch without a great deal of trust and nudity in general, and a complicated and sometimes painful family situation. And that works for me really well? Mine is also tangled up in all other sorts of aspects of my personality, and it affects how I connect to others too. (Gerald suddenly feeling less safe when a crush is on the table? The comment about how everyone since he was about thirteen wants to interrogate him about sexuality? Moods. This book is ownvoices on the ace stuff and it shows).

I also really like how it uses the allonormative fairytale stuff to really bring all this to the forefront. Fairytale style true love and expectations of marriage messed me up for so long. Also I liked that all sorts of gender configurations were allowed for the marriages. It sort of highlighted the isolation of feeling that most of the world except you wants a sexual or romantic partnership? Oddly cathartic to see Gerald face that and ALSO win a chance at the exact kind of life he wants, complete with a very sweet platonic partner who he's figuring things out with as he goes along but it's 100% fine that things will never get physical. That's it. That's the aroace fantasy.*

*by which I mean mine. There's lots of ways to be aroace.

Also I have not touched on the dragon but it is such a fun, dry-humored, caring character. I love the kinship and warmth between it and Gerald. I am so happy it too is planning to come to Cottage Gardening Animal Sanctuary HEA with Gerald and Omar.
Profile Image for Roz.
343 reviews8 followers
January 17, 2022
Alright so first off: aroaces and dragons are always going to be a winning combination. Secondly: queerplatonic relationships make my heart very soft and so again, are always a win. Thirdly: a ragtag group deciding to tear down an abusive and oppressive amatornormative system will always be fucking awesome. All together, we have an amazing story that I'm gonna be thinking about for a while.

I really loved Gerald and his journey to come to terms with his aroaceness as well as to make others come to terms with it. I really appreciated that Gerald was unwilling to compromise in a way that would have hurt himself. Marrying Omar would have been a capitulation to his parents and the system that might have technically made his life easier, but would also entail considerable distress for him, so he refused to do it. Omar's relatively easy acceptance was so refreshing. As he told Gerald, it's not a big deal for him but it's a very big deal for Gerald so why wouldn't he compromise? We need more allo characters who are so quick and easy to accept someone's limitations and make accommodations like that.

I also appreciated Gerald's struggle with both his anxiety and with his injury. Sudden changes to your prospects and abilities aren't easy to contend with and I feel like Logan showcased that struggle well.
854 reviews31 followers
April 25, 2022
Adored this. If it's as good on a reread, I'll up it to 5 stars.

I love the process that occurs in the book to get to the end. I wish the author had written sequels.
Profile Image for Martina Weiß.
Author 8 books16 followers
December 6, 2021
3.5 / 5 Stars

There are long books that feel like half their length and than there are books that feel as if they are twice as long.
Royal Rescue is the second option. I've seen people complain about the pacing and I would agree, but then I see them complain about how things move too fast and I'm like: Lol, what? xD
Because no, they don't move to fast. In fact, the first half of the book felt like it was going on forever. And I can tell you why I felt that way.
The second half was way better and more interesting and if the first 200 pages had more of the things the second half of the book had, I'd be way happier with this read.

So here's what's going on:
Our Aro Ace MC Gerald doesn't want to marry and his parents are like "Yeah, no. That's not how we do things around here." So they do stuff to him that is all really interesting so far, no complaints yet. He showcases that he's not a passive MC and takes matters into his own hands, while befriending a dragon. They - as in Gerald and the dragon - do have a quest and a goal but, it's all very vage and unclear. Because the goal doesn't alline with Geralds's own personal goal.
We establish him as someone who doesn't wanna get married because he's aro ace. So what does he do to get that? Well ... Nothing. Instead he starts following another goal he picked up on the way, aka freeing inslaved animals, which is cool and all, but those two goals only connect somehow on paper (if you close both of your eyes that is). By following one plot line, he doesn't get any closer to solving the other. And the first half has a hard time connecting those two lines with each other.

Once we picked up Omar - amazing character by the way - by accident (or fate), we begin our quest that's not really filled with a lot of excitment, because there aren't really any pressing stakes or dangers. Yeah, it shows that our heros are powerfull, selfless and smart, but it also leads to a not so exciting journey of repeat.
We travel to location A, talk about our feeings and rescue inslaved animal A.
We travel to location B, talk about our feeings and rescue inslaved animal B.
We travel to location C, talk about our feeings and rescue inslaved animal C.
We travel to location D, talk about -

We do eventually realise that what we've been doing so far is kinda pointless - which yeah, I know, but well - and what we should have been doing instead is something else. But it takes a while to get there. Especially since I didn't even feel like we used the first half to explore and develop character. We do tackle Geralds fears, insecuretiess and asexuality. Which I ENJOYED a lot, but besides that? Not tht much happens. Not that much is learned. And not that much changes.
Until it does because we've added stakes to the story. Not just stakes for our animals or stakes for the society. But also, personal, emotional stakes and struggels for our main duo.

Which brings me to the next point: Characters & Relationships.
I'm very happy, that the book gave us both a bad and a good family bond of Geralds. I do understand why he's not really to fond of them and why he's not having the best relationship with them, but I'm also very happy, that someone in his family IS there for him. That person was also one of my fav characters: Erick.
The book features a lot of characters, so not all of them get to have a lot of spotlight, but the few we do concentrate on, grew on me. I'm also very happy, that dragon (no name or pronoun) is one of those main characters. I know the book doesn't want to give dragon a pronoun, but I'm having a real hard time with it. So allow me to use they/them for dragon.

There are a few other dragons in the book, and I feared that that would be an issue, but it was surprisingly easy to figure out which of those dragons was our main dragon. Could there have been more descriptions of how people look? Yes, please. Did I die from not having those descriptions? Well, no, since I was able to navigate my way through the story by reading context clues.

I was VERY happy how the book handeled the Zucchini relationship. As in, this book features a queer platonic bond and it's very beautiful. I think both parties were depicted very nicely, especially since one of them is not aro ace. Which is - by the way - no requirement for a QPR, as long as you talk about what works for each of you and what makes you happy.
The relationship between dragon and Gerald was also very nice and sweet and something I didn't expect to enjoy as much as I did.
(There was also one character in there, just a side character though, that I feel like might have been autistic??? There is no confirmation, but he gave me those vibes, which was very nice.)

The cast is very diverse in all things possible, be it gender, romantic and/or sexual orientation, skin colour or character. I do have to say, that I've always appreciated casual 'oh by the way' rep.

I'm ace and the fact that Gerald was too and - probably - sex-repulsed as well, was very nice to read. I think he was a great asexual character but also a great character in general.
I've read that people felt like he was self-centered and selfish and honeslty, I have to disagree.

Yeah, the ending WAS selfish, because all and every other aro aces that come after him will have to struggle the same way he did, but honestly, what else was he supposed to do?
Saying "Well look how selfish" is easy, but do tell, what other alternatives did he have? Take his dragon and burn all of the lands to ash? Don't think so.

I'm shocked to say this, but this is one of those few books, that I would have shortend. At least a little. The second half is perfect and doesn't need change. The first one could have done with one Royal Rescue less.

The pacing is this books biggest foe, but the rest was enjoyable. Which is why I'm happy to report, that I did end up liking this book.
Profile Image for Lillian Francis.
Author 15 books95 followers
October 6, 2022
This was a really enjoyable read. I found the premise really interesting and the execution kept me engaged.
It's not often that an asexual takes the lead role in a book. I hesitate to call this a romance because Gerald does not have romantic feelings but I did enjoy the developing non-romantic relationship between Gerald and Omar. I wouldn't normally do spoilers but I would say do not expect it to move beyond a non-romantic relationship. I would hate for anyone to be disappointed that there isn't so much as a kiss in this story.
This was a gentle read that I dipped into over several days and while reading other things and it was different enough that I could easily return to it.
Profile Image for Zoë.
127 reviews
September 29, 2021
I recently embarked on a quest to find all of the good queer dragon books, and I had high hopes for this one. Unfortunately, I have been disappointed.

Let’s start with the good, though. This book delivers what it says it’s going to. It’s a fantasy story about asexuality and dragons and forging your own path. The author is asexual themself, and I thought that the ace rep in this book felt very genuine (though I might come back and edit this review based on the opinions of a friend who actually identifies as ace and is planning to borrow my copy of the book). I liked the dragon, and there were several other characters who had potential, though none of them lived up to it.

Now, on to my issues with the book. Where to start?

My issues with this book are threefold: the writing, the politics, and the representation.

First, the writing:

This book is painfully slow. Nothing happens for large chunks of it. Conversations repeat over and over.

There were a lot of references to other fantasy books (the Enchanted Forest Chronicles, the Protector of the Small Quartet), and while I share the author’s love for those books, I didn’t think the references were integrated well at all.

I’m not someone who can’t visualize things at all while I’m reading, but I do struggle with it. I need some help. Not long descriptions necessarily (my ADHD brain tends to skim those), but physical descriptions of some variety are necessary. Unfortunately, this book had almost none. The characters’ races are to be assumed based on their names—Gerald and Erick are white, Omar and Padma are brown, etc. Gerald complains about not looking like his family, but I never quite managed to work out what any of them are supposed to look like. In fact, the only character who gets a detailed physical description is Nedi, who is also (probably) the only Black character. Yikes. Additionally, it was impossible to tell the dragons apart. I respect the author’s choice in refusing to give the dragons either names or genders, but they also didn’t have any distinguishing adjectives. I had to use context clues to determine when the dragon was the main dragon character rather than some other dragon. Would it really have been so hard to make them different sizes or give them different ages or colors or scale shapes or SOMETHING?

If you just want to read a dragon book with an aroace protagonist, go for it, but it was really hard to get through this book.

Anyway, moving on to the representation issues:

As I noted above, the only Black character is also the only character who is given any sort of helpful visual description, much less a racialized one. She’s also not treated well by the narrative. Gerald dislikes her for no discernible reason, but maybe it’s not racially motivated because Gerald also dislikes every single other female character in the book. Seriously. This character hates women so much.

A particular storyline also left me asking, “is this bad disability representation or just bad writing?” I still don’t know the answer.

I appreciate the presence of nonbinary characters in this book (unsurprising, as the author is agender), but I would like the record to show that I LOATHE the word “princex” as some sort of nonbinary alternative to prince or princess. You really want me to believe that the sort of modern gender discourse that results in an X at the end of any sort supposedly making it gender-neutral or more inclusive would coexist with a pseudo-medieval fantasy world in which all of the royalty are forced to marry each other?

Which brings me to my real issue with this book: the politics of it all.

I think that books about royalty can work in two different ways.
1) the royalty are the royalty and this isn’t going to change. There is no question that there will be a king or queen or whatever. The system is just going to stay in place. I tolerate this because it’s fantasy and yeah, sometimes it’s fun to read about royalty.
2) actual politics and social change. These stories are messier and more complex. They involve overthrowing governments and installing new ones. They question the role of the monarchy.

This book somehow manages to be both options, and it does not pull it off well.

Gerald and his friends are armed with the language of leftist revolution. They talk about systemic issues and wanting to overthrow the system and improve everything, and then what do they do? They just reform the system so that the royals are still all being forced to marry each other but at least animals aren’t being abused anymore. It felt like a bunch of liberal nonsense. And I think the fundamental problem is that for all the talk of systemic change, never once does the author question the existence of, apparently, a THOUSAND monarchies in this world. We meet exactly one human character—an unnamed steward—who isn’t royalty. It’s exhausting. It’s frustrating. It’s the fantasy equivalent of a show like Brooklyn 99 but with none of the humor and with less engaging characters.
1,002 reviews8 followers
April 16, 2019
Title: Royal Rescue
Author: A. Alex Logan
Publisher: NineStar Publication
ISBN: 978-1-950412-41-9
Buy Link: https://ninestarpress.com/product/roy...
Reviewer: Teresa Fallen Angel
Blurb:
At age eighteen, when they become marriageable, all royal children in the Thousand Kingdoms must either go questing to rescue another royal or be hidden away to await rescue themselves. Some go the traditional route of princes rescuing princesses, but not all princes want to be rescuers…and some would rather rescue other princes.
Then there’s Prince Gerald, who has no interest in getting married at all. When he refuses to choose a role as either rescuer or rescuee, his royal parents choose for him and have him magicked away to a distant tower to await a spouse.
Gerald, however, is having none of it. He recruits his guardian dragon and a would-be rescuer and soon the trio is dashing to all corners of the united kingdoms on a quest to overturn the entire system.
Total Score: 5/5

Summary:
All Prince Gerald wanted out of life was to be left alone and not have anything to do with his royal lineage. That included taking part in the rescuer/ rescuee tradition for royals to find mates. Gerald has never been interested in anyone or even wanted to touch anyone, male or female. Unfortunately, his mothers refuse to listen to him or believe what he says. Gerald has never really fit into the mold they wanted for him and their refusal to listen leads him to waking up in a tower in the desert. Now you would think this was be the final word, but that would underestimate Gerald. His love for animals leads him to befriend the dragon that is guarding him. Gerald quickly makes friends with the dragon and realizes that he and the other guardians are not there voluntary. That is the start of Gerald’s fight to overcome a terrible wrong against all of the guardians that could change not only Gerald’s, but the Kingdom forever.

Gerald’s feelings of isolation and not being understood was sad to experience. When he saved the life Omar’s life, he never thought that his action could make a difference in his life. Between Omar and his Dragon, Gerald finally found friends who accepted him as he was without trying to change him. It was funny that his mother may have sent him to the tower to teach him a lesson, but it was the spark he needed to find the life he wanted.

This book was provided by the author via IndiGo Marketing & Design in exchange for an honest review.

April 29, 2020
Content warnings: disbelief of asexuality, graphic burns, animal abuse, recovery from severe injury, emotional abuse from parents, self-loathing.

This book starts off really strong. For the first 30% or so, I was getting a great spirited fantasy adventure vibe that really reminded me of Patricia C Wrede's Enchanted Forest series, one of my all time favourites (and one the author name checks in the dedication). However, while I really appreciated that the story centred an asexual prince fed up with the marriage mart of royalty, Gerald becomes an extremely tedious protagonist to spend time with. I liked that dedicated page time was given to him figuring out how to make his life how he needed it to be, as well as lots of respectful discussion of sexuality, but unfortunately it slows the book down hugely. Gerald gets injured just before the halfway point of the novel, and the narrative just kind of stops. He loses all of his drive to reform the royal marriage system, which is understandable, but means that the reader is stuck with him in his bed while he mopes about how useless he is, while the side characters all get on with the actual plot - the entire resolution comes together off-page while Gerald complains and does nothing. I ended up having to drag myself to the end, and it was hard not to roll my eyes when Gerald had yet another whinge about how awful his life was. He had supportive friends, but he refuses to listen to them. His conversations with his friend/platonic love interest Omar about his sexuality and their relationship go around in circles, including one that is repeated almost verbatim a few chapters later - I get that in the real world, these would need to be long and detailed conversations about boundaries and self, and that it takes a lot of time to deconstruct internalised self-hatred, but they are boring to read when they form the entirety of the book. And it's such a shame when the concept and the first part were so pacey and fun.

There's an amazing story buried in here, with loads of great queer rep and a clever satire of the fairytale concept of rescuing royals from towers. But it really is buried under the second part of the book and a very negative protagonist. The conversations here are important, but sadly they are at the expense of the plot.
Profile Image for Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews.
1,206 reviews44 followers
April 8, 2019
5 Hearts Reviewed by Pixie for MM Good Book Reviews

Stunning debut release.

High fantasy with a dash of fun with serious under tones.

Gerald is adamant he will never marry, because to him marriage would be a lie. He has no sexual interest in anyone and marriage would portray he did, so sticking to his guns he refuses to participate in the quest that every royal must take part in when they reach 18. The Marriage Quest.

But waking up in a tower, in the desert with a guardian dragon at it's base has Gerald rethinking his options, and his mother never thought the option he chooses was ever an actual option..., he decides to rescue himself, with the dragons help of course.

This is a fantastic high fantasy story that has a dash of fun as Gerald, the dragon and the young prince, Omar (that they rescue from the desert) head off on an adventure to rescue the other guardians. An adventure that turns into so much more as they shake the Thousand Kingdoms views on the marriage quest.

This story does have it's serious aspect of Gerald's asexuality, because poor Gerald is bombarded with the narrow minded views of the other royals. They refuse to understand that Gerald just doesn't want to marry anyone because he doesn't feel attraction for anyone. It's frustrating and disappointing for Gerald and it gets him down quite a bit.

Omar is a superb character who is compassionate and does understand Gerald, because he asks questions and actually listens to Gerald.

Dragon is a wonderful character who adds a lot to the story, while he might be a dragon he is a wise companion who understands Gerald a lot more than humans do, he becomes a cherished friend to Gerald, he supports Gerald in his quest and helps to rock the Thousand Kingdoms.

I loved this story, it's fun, has a slightly serious tone, has fantastic characters, an amazing setting, with a brilliant ending... I want more.

I'm amazed that this is A Alex Logan's debut story, because they knock it out of the park. It's beautifully crafted, entertaining, with a solid story base and characters you want to see more of. I really do hope that we will see more of this wonderful world that A. Alex has created in the future.
Profile Image for AMHH.
93 reviews
April 14, 2020

This is a fascinating novel, one that manages somehow to be simultaneously two things at once.

On one hand, it’s an amazingly well developed fantasy, with vivid landscapes, an incredible menagerie of mythical animals, and a bit of fantastical whimsy and absurdity— I adored the banter with dragon (it doesn’t want a name, thank you, it’s a dragon) and, for better or worse, I will probably never entirely get the images of squirrels with swords out of my head. Trust me, it’s both terrifying and hilarious.

On the other hand, the novel is also about the protagonist’s very real, very painful struggle for recognition, let alone acceptance, in a society that is callous at best and hostile at worst to the reality of who he is and what he needs, and doesn’t need, from life. Gerald doesn’t want sex and he doesn’t want romance, and no one, from the mother who drugs him and imprisons him in a tower against his will, to the cousin/best friend who constantly assures him he’ll grow out of it/get over it, will even listen to him as he tries to explain, no matter how many times he tries. His plight is also made all the more stark by the fact that his society has evolved from the stereotypical, misogynistic heroic prince/damsel princess pairings: there are no set gender norms or roles, even though the traditional love interest in the tower / love interest to the rescue template is still very much in place. It all feels very progressive at first, and the participants certainly congratulate themselves for their enlightened ways, but it’s still a restrictive and reductive system, and the more the story develops, the more the nasty edges and hidden costs come to light. By the time you get more than a few chapters in, you’re rooting for Gerald’s quest to take the whole system down.

It’s quite a ride, and it’s totally worth it. Ultimately, the relationship that Gerald ends up forging is deeply rewarding. His partner sees him, listens to him, and works to build something for them, not entirely without difficulty but with patience, sincerity, and enthusiasm. The future they plan for is, without spoilers, perfect for both of them, and I love that.

*I received an ARC of this book and voluntarily composed an unbiased review
38 reviews
January 6, 2022
✨ aroace main character
✨ talking dragons
✨ not a fan of how women are presented

TW: internalized aphobia, aphobia

I absolutely loved the setting. It’s a queer-normative world with many POC and LGBTQ+ characters, and there’s even gender-neutral royals who use the term princex which I LOVE. The dragons and the magical creatures were a lot of fun, and I liked how many different environments we saw.

As far as Gerald, I liked him, but he’s a little bit of a downer. Now, I get it—I’m asexual, and I get how incredibly disheartening acephobia is. But I’m also a “don’t mope” kind of person from a “pick yourself up” kind of family, and I don’t believe in talking badly about yourself for an extended period of time. He spends 95% of the book down on himself for everything, and while I never minded that much, I think some people would have a problem with that.

He also has great connections with the other male main characters of the story though—Erik and Omar. I loved their dynamic, it felt very real and their dialogue wasn't forced at all. And I loved the exploration of a queerplatonic relationship.

That said *calming breath* all the women in this book were one-dimensional bullies. All the women main characters were portrayed the same—they pick on Gerald, they're arophobic, they’re pushy, they’re mean, they steamroll conversations, and everyone else is like “well, we can’t stop them I guess we have to let them finish *shrug\eye roll*”. And the women side characters who weren’t characterized that way were just passive.

All of them existed just to be acephobic\arophobic to Gerald and that’s it. There wasn’t any depth to anyone—not even his mom or sister. We’re told that they have depth, and that their feelings on Gerald are complicated, but we’re never shown that.

The men and non-binary characters had personalities and differences, and the women didn’t (besides their looks) and that really frustrated me.

Overall, I did think the book was cute, and I did enjoy it. I also related to a lot of the frustration Gerald feels, and how acephobia can affect you and your thought process. But the disregard for women really brought the book down for me.
Profile Image for Tory.
Author 8 books33 followers
October 9, 2019
I am partial to retellings, I am of a half mind to write a few of them myself, even if it would end up unread in my computer (as my books tend to) but this also means I have some... expectations that may clash with other retellings.

I actually knew this was going to be an asexual... (also aromantic?)... romance. I do, for one reason or another, want to read more about these types of relationship. And this was a pretty good "introduction", like "aromantic relationships for dummies", because it really explained the basics when the MC explained, over and over, what he's feeling. Maybe some frustration and bad experience from the author may have had influenced this part of the story...

It was a good premise. Nice world. It simply felt... simple. Like, not as well "crafted" because characters were a little "simple" and the MC decided to "revolutionize" his world and while realistically, this should have been a process, it was way too easy and people, everyone, was way too agreeable and happy to do what he wanted. And after some point, he was just... observing. Like you're trying to change the river and you just toss in there a big boulder, just trying to do something and yet it does exactly what it was not supposed to. Yes, it's optimistic and it all made sense but... the book is about the POT (point of tension), it's not about how easy it was to overcome the POT, even if there was the second POT of MC's relationship that took up the second half of the book.

I do kind of recommend it as a ... pit stop, as a nice contrast to the type of romances I read at the moment. It's almost... PG. Like a fairytale but one with an adult layer.

Cute, almost YA low on angst. Nice.
Profile Image for Bethany.
6 reviews
January 24, 2022
I struggled so hard to get into the book, I really did. The first half was hard for me to read. The pace overall is slow, but I'm not usually as bothered by this as I was reading this book. Eventually I was able to articulate that I just don't really like Gerald. Maybe it's because we're too similar, maybe it's because of how he's written, maybe it's just because I find him childish. Regardless, I read the second half in one sitting.

For me, I really started to get interested in the book when Gerald becomes less important to the plot and around the development of the QPR. Gerald spends a lot of time in the "I'm broken" stage of acearo, and it just didn't vibe with me, I think because I'm past that in my own life. But the QPR really just made me cry because it's so supportive and basically what I want for my life.

I also really loved the disability rep in the second half of the book. Part of it is integral to the story, sure, but there's also just so much commentary on what it's like to be disabled in society and yet also be loved by people who see past your disability and to who you are as a person. I felt really seen reading all of that, and I really think that's why I loved the second half so much.

Honestly I'm definitely recommending this book to people, and I really want a sequel. It's good acearo rep, although I worry about how it would be perceived my someone who is not a-spec. However, I hope in the sequel that Gerald goes through some growth and that we get to learn a bit more about Omar and his background. A lot of this book was so focused on Gerald's anxiety and self-hatred, and I just really want that empowerment arc for him.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
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